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There’s been a fair bit of bow-side / stroke-side banter the last week over on Twitter. Not sure who or what started it (actually I do, but it would be immature to point the finger at anyone. Like @paddlefirm, for instance).

Over the last year I’ve become a confirmed bow-sider (starboard, for my American readers), and have become convinced that coxes have a stroke-side bias. “You’re down on stroke-side”, they’ll call, when clearly the Other Side has masses of room and it’s the poor, long-suffering bow-siders who are struggling for space. “More pressure on bow-side”, they’ll go on, adding insult to injury. “Stroke-side are pulling you round”. All right, all right, I get the point.

So I’d happily laughed along with the jokes, until the inevitable happened and Dr. Karma came to call. A few last minute changes to the weekend squadlist left us overendowed with bow-siders. Before I realised what I was doing, I’d volunteered to swap sides. What was I thinking?

At first it felt a bit like writing with my left hand. I couldn’t work out which way to turn or which hand was doing what. But I did it. OK, so I fluffed the occasional stroke, but by the end of the outing it even felt… well… all right. Even at race pace.

It seems that I am, after all, bisweptual. There, I’ve said it. And it feels good.

And hey, as my new friend @a_crewrow says, “Who doesn’t love a good stroke?”

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